torek, 23. avgust 2016

Flooded by Watercolours


About six weeks ago I spent some time in Banat, Serbia as I usually do in summertime. This time I wrote mainly about sculpture, large clay statues made in Terra Studio in a former 19th century roof tile factory. However what I encountered every now and again were watercolours. Everyone seems to be talking about them or painting them. It was sort of an elegant, slow and silent flooding, they remained in the corner of my eye, constantly there, gentle, in a way even more present than the sculpture. 

Last year I attended a watercolour symposium held in Ajdovščina during the Watercolour Biennial Castra 2015. I learned that in Slovenia watercolours were never thought of much, mostly they were a part of preparatory stage for oils or just a sketching method. This year, while I was in Kikinda I went to see an exhibition in National Museum, a selection from Milutin Popović's watercolour collection. According to the catalogue Mr. Popović collected watercolours by 20th century Serbian painters form the avant guard on. Watercolours seemed to be quite a big thing up to the 1980s. 

In 2014 I attended Tiska akademija akvarela (Tisa Watercolours Academy), an artist colony dedicated solely to the watercolours. Invited artists have been gathering every year for five days in August for the last 21 years. Before I lost myself in acrylics I used to do calligraphy in watercolours. Nevertheless the colony was my fires real contact with watercolour painting. It didn't take long for me to become hooked. However there's a catch (there always is, isn't it). Calligraphy in watercolours isn't the same as watercolour painting. There are some new techniques I need to master. I spent some time researching watercolours and decided on two opposite approaches. One is atmospheric watercolours in the technique taught by an English water-colourist Jean Haines. The other one is totally different. It's done by placing layer upon layer upon layer of watercolour on the paper like Aleksandar Bogdanović paints. I met Saša during the colony and we became fast friends. He's coming to Slovenia in September. I'm counting the days...


Nacionalni muzej Kikinda (http://www.muzejkikinda.com/)
*

Poleti greva z M-jem na dopust tudi v Vojvodino. Letošnji obisk je bil, kar zadeva umetnost, bolj posvečen skulpturi, velikim kipom in gline, ki jih delajo na vsakoletni koloniji Terra v kompleksu nekdanje opekarne na obrobju mesta. Ne glede na to, se me je tu in tam spet dotaknil akvarel. Kamorkoli sva šla, se mi je zdelo, da ljudje slikajo akvarele ali vsaj govorijo o njih. Nekako elegantno, počasi in tiho so me poplavili, nenehno so ostali v kotičku očesa, nežno, celo bolj kot skulptura.

Lansko leto sem se udeležila simpozija v okviru Bienala akvarela Castra 2015 v Ajdovščini. Tam sem izvedela, da je bil akvarel skozi zgodovino na slovenskih tleh bolj kot ne obravnavan kot pripravljalna tehnika za olje ali za skice in da ga galeristi ne ljubijo preveč. Letos sva obiskala nacionalni muzej v Kikindi, kjer je bil razstavljen izbor iz zbirke akvarelov Milutina Popovića. Glede na informacije v katalogu, je g. Popović zbiral akvarele srbskih slikarjev od avantgarde dalje. Akvareli so bili pomemben likovni izraz do 80. let 20. stoletja.

Poleti 2014 sem se udeležila Tiske akademije akvarela, kolonije, ki je posvečena čistemu akvarelu. Vabljeni umetniki se za pet dni v avgustu že 21 let zbirajo v Novem Bečeju in ustvarjajo v ateljeju tamkajšnjega kulturnega doma. Preden so me prevzele akrilne barve, sem se ukvarjala s kaligrafijo, v glavnem z akvarelnimi barvicami. Ne glede na to pa sem na koloniji videla, da je akvarelno slikarstvo nekaj povsem drugega. Nisem potrebovala veliko, da sem se ujela v past, vendar tudi tu (kot seveda povsod) nek ampak čepi za vogalom. Moja kaligrafija je čisto OK, vendar je akvarel povezan z zame novimi tehnikami, ki se jih moram naučiti. Lotila sem se raziskovanja in našla dve različni tehniki, ki sta me pritegnili. Ena je abstraktna, atmosferična, kot jo uči angleška akvarelistka Jean Haines. Druga je popolnoma drugačna in pomeni nanašanje plasti na plast na plast lazurne barve na papir. Na ta način slika Aleksanar Bogdanović, ki sem ga spoznala pred dvema letoma v Novem Bečeju. Saša letos septembra prihaja v Slovenijo. Odštevam dneve ...


Tiska akademija akvarela. Foto vir/source: http://www.domkulturenb.com


sreda, 10. avgust 2016

The Secret History by Donna Tartt


On the first page we learn that Bunny is dead. We know who killed him but we don't yet know why. At first the book seems to be an inverted murder mystery. But is it all there is?

There's a group of five rich students of ancient Greek and there's Richard, an ordinary kid trying to escape from the life of his father's gas station in a small town in California. Richard's interest in literature and beauty strongly contrasts the life he left behind. At first he isn't admitted into Julian’s little circle of Greek students. Later the professor changes his mind and admits Richard into his closed isolated group. His need to belong to this privileged group borders on obsession. Richard invents his past life, his family and schooling to sound much more glamorous as it really was.

Richard admits he doesn't know whether he likes his fellow students, the same people he tries to impress. Someone in the novel says that none of them is smart enough to latter in life make a career in teaching or the academia. It seems studying Greek is a form of killing time for them. They are detached from reality.  They have no clue about the everyday life, the real world, the outside. They are isolated from other students.

Wrapped up in their Greek studies they decide to hold a bacchanal from which Richard and Bunny are excluded. What happens there is real. From that point on, beauty turns into darkness. They experience blackmail, harassment, and their own secrets being thrown at them. They contemplate ending it all often enough, they talk about it, plan it but it all seems like a game, like something imagined, not real. Until it finally happens.

The why of the murder is pretty clear up to the middle of the novel. After the murder they wait for the body to be found, they search for it and after it is found they attend Bunny's funeral. After that we read about repeated scenes of drinking, drugs and medications abuse, hangovers, panic attacks, paranoia, psychological strains, leading to the disintegration of the group.

I rather enjoyed this book. After I finished it I kept thinking about what isolation can do to people who live in their own (privileged) world without caring about what goes on around them. Would it be any different if the bacchanal and the events immediately following it didn't happen? I don't think so.

*

Že na prvi strani knjige izvemo, da je Bunny mrtev. Vemo tudi kdo ga je ubil, ne vemo pa še zakaj. Na prvi pogled gre za obrnjeno kriminalko, je pa ta knjiga še marsikaj drugega.

Opravka imamo s petimi bogatimi študent stare grščine in z Richardom, čisto navadnim mulcem, ki skuša zbežati pred življenjem na očetovi bencinski črpalki v malem mestu nekje v Kaliforniji. Richardovo zanimanje za literaturo in lepoto ne bi moglo biti drugačno od življenja njegovih staršev in okolja, v katerem je odrasel. Sprva ga profesor ne sprejme, potem pa si premisli in zanj najde mesto v svoji mali skupini študentov. Richardova potreba po pripadnosti meji na obsedenost. S časom si izmisli bleščeče življenje, ki naj bi ga živel v Kaliforniji, ki je zelo drugačno od resničnega.

Richard prizna, da ni prepričan ali so mu kolegi, ljudje, ki si jih želi navdušiti, sploh všeč. Ne glede na njihov dosedanji študij, nihče od njih ni dovolj pameten, da bi kasneje v življenju zgradil kariero v akademskih krogih. Videti je, da je zanje študij grščine samo zabijanje časa. Odmaknjeni so od resničnosti, ne vedo kaj se dogaja v vsakdanjem življenju, zunaj njihovih interesnih meja. Zaradi načina študija v majhni skupni in zahteve profesorja, da skoraj vse predmete poslušajo pri njem, postanejo izolirani od drugih študentov.

Prežeti s študijem stare grščine in vsega kar sodi zraven, se odločijo, da poskusijo prirediti bakanalije, vendar brez Richarda in Bunnyja. Kar se zgodi tam, je zelo resnično. Od te točke dalje se lepota sprevrže v temačnost. Njihov vsakdan izpolnijo nadlegovanje, grožnje, izsiljevanje z lastnimi skrivnostmi. Pogosto razmišljajo o tem kako bi vse skupaj končali, pogovarjajo se o tem, načrtujejo, vendar je kljub temu to zanje kot igra, kot nekaj, kar ne obstaja, nekaj namišljenega. Dokler se resnično ne zgodi.

Do sredine romana nam je jasno kakšen je motiv za umor. Po umoru čakajo, da bo kdo našel truplo, sodelujejo pri iskanju in potem, ko ga najdejo, se udeležijo Bunnyjevega pogreba. Potem beremo o ponavljajočih se prizorih popivanja, zlorabe drog in zdravil, mačkastih jutrih, napadih panike, paranoje, psiholoških napetostih, kar na koncu vodi k razpadu skupine.

Knjiga mi je bila všeč. Potem, ko sem jo prebrala, nisem nehala razmišljati o moči, ki jo ima izolacija nad človekom, ki živi v svojem (privilegiranem) svetu in ga ne briga prav dosti kaj se dogaja okoli njega. Bi bilo drugače, če se bakanalije in dogodki, ki so jim neposredno sledili, ne bi zgodile? Mislim, da ne.


ponedeljek, 08. avgust 2016

Mala galerija Kranj, 2. 8. 2016


Prejšnji teden sva bila na razstavi treh novih članic Likovnega društva Kranj: Eve Serpan Sitar, Irene Orel in Mete Šolar. Pravzaprav sem od prej poznala samo Evo, s katero sva sošolki na magistrskem programu na Arthousu. Glede na to, da vedno bentim, da bi morali bolj obiskovati razstave svojih kolegov in si tako izkazovati podporo, sva se z M-jem odpravila v Kranj. V resnici ni na koncu sveta kot bi si marsikdo mislil. 

Evini nebodotičniki in nebošpičniki so me spomnili na ponavljajoče sanje, ki jih tu in tam imam. Ko že mislim, da jih ne bo več, se spet pojavijo. Vedno isti svet, iste stavbe in isti ljudje. Če že niso pa vem kam spadajo. Stavbe na Evinih platnih so take. Tako mirno in domače me je spreletelo, da jih vendar poznam, vem kje so. Tam, onkraj roba platna, je hiša z zelenimi okni in ogromnimi fikusi na strehi. Tista, ja, ki ponoči oddaja občutek vlage in džungle, čeprav je skoraj v središču mesta, čisto ob glavni mestni vpadnici. Okoli nje so vedno luže, kot da bi ravnokar deževalo. Ko sediš med fikusi, slišiš promet, ki se nikoli ne umiri.

Irena Orel je v globoke okvirje za slekla zaprla posamezne faze ustvarjanja. Tako sem njene slike - objekte razumela na prvi pogled. V enem okvirju je bilo ujeto zmečkano poslikano platno, v drugem porisan papir, v tretjem spet mehurčkasta folija in zaščitni papir, ki ga je čisto lahko, ob neki drugi priložnosti, položila na tla. Morda pa ni, saj v resnici ne vem. Le da me je spomnila na mojo večno temo, praznino med posameznimi trenutki. Kaj je med eno in drugo fazo? No, ja, učijo nas, da vse poteka zvezno, da si stvari sledijo po neki logiki, zaporedju. Kaj pa, če nimajo prav? Ne maram predalčkov, utesnjeni so in tema je notri. Zato si jemljem svobodo, da stvari razumem drugače. 

Portreti Mete Šolar izražajo neko drugo praznino, skrivanje za vzorci, rožami in sadjem, dvodimenzionalno sosednjo resničnost, kamor se lahko umaknemo, ko imamo vsega zadosti. Ali pa morda notranjo praznino, če imajo prav tisti, ki trdijo, da je obraz ogledalo duše. Tudi časi, v katerih smo se znašli, so nekako brezdušni, polni absurdnih situacij, za katere se pravzaprav ne zmenimo, saj je tako verjetno res lažje. Morda pa je bilo vedno tako, le da se delamo, da tega ne vemo.


Eva Serpan Sitar

Irena Orel

Meta Šolar

četrtek, 04. avgust 2016

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


I love trains and it's not hard for me to imagine looking out from a train's window into other people's lives. However, I never saw it as real life, it was like watching television, like something that doesn't really exist. I never for a moment thought about being a part of the world I saw from a train. But then again, I'm not Rachel.

This book's huge success sort of put it on hold for me, somehow it worked the opposite way. I just wasn't interested enough. Then the time came when I had some time to kill and the book wandered my way, so I read it and liked it. 

The Girl on the Train in a psychological thriller told from a perspective of three women. Two of them live on the same street: A third used to live there and now observes the houses from a train and can't seem to stay away. Rachel is as unreliable a narrator as she can be. She's an alcoholic, drunk or drinking most of the time. She has blackouts and doesn't remember certain events from the past. Anna spends her days at home, taking care of her daughter and waiting for Tom to come home. Megan used to run a gallery she was forced to close and is now caught in a role of a housewife she desperately wants to escape from.

It's a book about obsession, control, lies, disillusionment. Rachel is obsessed with her ex-husband and the life she shared with him which she considered to be the best part of her life. Was it really? Anna misses work, what it meant to her, she considers leaving her job a sacrifice for getting what she has now. At the same time she doesn't want to give her new life up and is prepared to protect it at all costs. But is it really what she thinks it is? Megan needs to find something to fill her days with, to start living, not just playing at real life. She can't just be a housewife, to wait for her man to come home and love her. However, there's a secret from the past tormenting her. 

The book is a page-turner without unnecessary descriptions or repeated information. I was able to guess the outcome but it didn't bother me. None of the women is particularly likable but they don't have to be. I don't read books to feel connected to the protagonists. Do women like those three exist? Oh, yes, I think they do.


*

Obožujem vlake. Ne zdi se mi pretirano težko predstavljati si nekoga, ki sedi v vlaku in opazuje življenja ljudi, ki živijo v hišah ob progi, čeprav tega nikoli nisem videle kot resnično življenje. Zame je to nekaj podobnega gledanju televizije, nekaj fiktivnega, kar v resnici ne obstaja. Nikoli si nisem predstavljala, da bi bila del sveta na drugi strani okna vagona. Morda zato, ker nisem kot Rachel. 

Uspeh te knjige name ni deloval kot bi deloval na marsikoga drugega. Nisem komaj čakala, da bi jo prebrala. Čudno pravzaprav, kot da bi me vsa reklama od nje odvrnila. Bliskovito je bila prevedena v slovenščino, v promociji so sodelovale celo Slovenske železnice, predstavitev za novinarje pa je bila v muzejskem salonskem vagonu na železniški postaji v Ljubljani. No, kakor koli, prišel je čas s preveč urami, knjiga je prijadrala mimo in sem jo prebrala. Ne vem zakaj me to vedno preseneti, vendar mi je bila všeč.

Dekle na vlaku je psihološki triler, ki ga beremo kot prepletanje zgodb treh žensk. Dve živita v isti ulici, tretja pa je tam živela v ne tako daljni preteklosti in zdaj iz vlaka opazuje hiše in življenje ljudi v njih. Rachel je nezanesljiva pripovedovalka. Je alkoholičarka, večino zgodbe je okajena ali pa s pomočjo pločevink pred pripravljenega gin-tonika dela na tem, da bi bila. Tu in tam ima luknje v spominu, zaradi česar se nekaterih dogodkov ne spominja. Anna dneve preživlja doma, skrbi za otroka in čaka moža, da se vrne iz službe. Megan je nekoč imela galerijo, vendar jo je bila, zaradi upada prometa, prisiljena zapreti. Zdaj je ujeta v vlogo gospodinje, iz katere bi silno rada pobegnila. 

Knjiga obravnava obsedenost, željo po nadzoru, laži in razočaranje. Rachel je obsedena z bivšim možen in z njunim zakonom, ki ga še vedno razume kot najsrečnejši del svojega življenja. Je bil res? Anna pogreša delo, pogreša kar ji je delo pomenilo. To, da je postila službo je zanjo žrtev za to, kar ima sedaj. Hkrati priznava, da se za nič na svetu ne bi odpovedala svojemu sedanjemu življenju in ga je pripravljena obdržati za vsako ceno. Je res tako kot misli, da je? Megan potrebuje nekaj, s čimer bi zapolnila praznino vsakdana, da bi resnično živela, ne samo igrala življenja. Ne more biti samo gospodinja, ki doma čaka, da se mož vrne iz službe. Poleg nezadovoljstva z vsakdanjim življenjem, jo vedno bolj obremenjuje skrivnost iz preteklosti.

Dekle na vlaku se hitro bere, ni nepotrebnih opisovanj in ponavljajočih se informacij. Še pred koncem sem ugotovila kaj se bo zgodilo, a me to ni motilo. Nobena od treh žensk mi ni bila všeč, vendar niti ni treba, da bi mi bile. Ne berem knjig zato, da bi se poistovetila z liki v njih. Ali ženske kot so Rachel, Anna in Megan obstajajo? O ja, pa še kako obstajajo.


torek, 26. julij 2016

The Hours by Michael Cunningham


Michael Cunningham's The Hours is a book about a book. The main lead is Virgina Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and the three women the book connects. In present day New York Clarissa Vaughn is throwing a party for her friend Richard, who years ago nicknamed her Mrs. Dalloway. In 1940's suburban Los Angeles, Laura Brown feels trapped trying to be the perfect wife and mother, reading Mrs. Dalloway. And there's Virginia Woolf herself, around the time she was writing Mrs. Dalloway. 

There are a lot of common themes in all three stories. For me the most powerful was escape from reality. All three women experience some sort of escape from reality. Laura drives to a hotel, to spend a few hours in a turquoise room, just reading Mrs. Dalloway, trying to escape her suffocating everyday life. No matter how much she wants to do the right thing, to be a perfect wife and mother, in her own eyes she fails. She can't even bake a perfect cake for her husband's birthday. All she ever wanted to do was read. Virgina Woolf wants to return to London, to go to parties, be a part of city life again. She wants to escape into life. She probably would have left if her husband didn't come after her. Clarissa's friend Richard escapes in a different way, he literally takes a plunge into death.

There are other shared images throughout the book: for example yellow roses (the ones Clarissa buys for the party, ones in Laura's kitchen and there are yellow roses in Virginia's garden), a kiss (Clarissa and Richard, Laura and her friend Kitty, Virginia and her sister Vanessa); and shared themes like suicide, homosexuality and literature. All shared themes and images form a network of lines connecting Mrs. Dalloway with The Hours, the characters of both books, events, and the writer with his readers. I think creating this book didn't end the moment Cunningham decided it did. Instead it is a form of constant collaboration between the author and the readers following the lines, noticing shared images, giving them a proper place in a mosaic they created themselves.

And there's my recurring image, the one that seems to appear in every other book I read lately, the layers of time superimposing, in a conversation between Clarissa and Richard, about a kiss beside the pond.

"You kissed me beside a pond."
"Ten thousand years ago."
"It's still happening."
"In a sense, yes."
"In reality. It is happening in that present. This is happening in this present."

I loved The Hours and I loved Cunningham's writing. I think I'll read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway to see what new perspectives were opened by The Hours.

*

Ure Michela Cunninghama so knjiga o knjigi. Glavna junakinja je knjiga, Mrs. Dalloway Virginie Woolf, ki povezuje tri ženske, ki živijo v različnih časih. V današnjem New Yorku Clarissa Vaughn pripravlja zabavo za Richarda, ki jo že od mladosti kliče Mrs. Dalloway. V predmestju Los Angelesa v 40. letih dvajsetega stoletja Laura Borwn bere Mrs. Dalloway. Tretja je Virginia Woolf v času, ko je pisala roman Mrs. Dalloway.

Vse tri zgodbe vsebujejo številne skupne teme, vendar je name največji vtis naredil beg pred resničnostjo. Vsaka od treh žensk ga na neki točki v življenju izkusi. Laura se odpelje v hotel, kar tako, da bi se umaknila od dolgočasnega vsakdana in samo brala. Trudi se, da bi opravljala svoje dolžnosti tako kot je treba, vednar ne more mimo občutka, da ni uspela biti popolna žena in mati. Niti popolne torte za možev rojstni dan ne more speči. V resnici si želi samo brati. Virginia Woolf si želi vrniti se v London, obiskovati zabave, biti del mestnega življenja, ki ga pogreša. Želi si zbežati v življenje. Če je mož ne bi dohitel na železniški postaji, bi ji verjetno celo uspelo. Clarissin prijatelj Richard zbeži na drugačen način, zbeži dokončno, ko skoči v smrt.

Poleg bega pred resničnostjo, so v knjigi tudi številni drugi ponavljajoči se motivi. Na primer rumene vrtnice (tiste, ki jih kupi Clarissa, tiste v Laurini kuhinji pa tudi tiste v Virginijinem vrtu), poljub (med Clarisso in Richardom, Lauro in njeno prijateljico Kitty in med Virginijo in njeno sestro Vanesso) pa tudi skupne teme kot so samomor, homoseksualnost in literatura. Vsi ponavljajoči se motivi spletejo mrežo, ki povezuje Mrs. Dalloway in Ure, osebe v obeh knjigah, dogodke in nenazadnje avtorja z bralci. Menim, da se knjiga ni končala takrat, ko se je Cunningham odločil, da je končana. Ure so nenehno sodelovanje med pisateljem in bralci, ki sledijo mreži, opazijo ponavljajoče se motive, razmišljajo o njih in jim dajo mesto v mozaiku, ki so ga sami ustvarili.

Zanimivo je kako se mi dogaja, da v vsaki drugi knjigi, ki jo preberem, najdem svoj ponavljajoči se motiv: plasti časa, ki se prekrivajo. Tokrat v pogovoru med Clarisso in Richardom o poljubu ob ribniku. Richard ugotovi, da se tisti trenutek še vedno dogaja, tisto se dogaja v tisti resničnosti, ta pogovor pa v tej.

Skratka, Ure so mi bile všeč, ravno tako Cunninghamov slog pisanja. Zna biti, da bom tudi sama prebrala Mrs Dalloway, da vidim kakšne move možnosti so odprle Ure.



petek, 15. julij 2016

Atelje Terra


V prejšnji objavi sem zapisala vtis z razstave lanskega simpozija skulpture Terra. Vedela sem, da se vse dogaja v nekdanji opekarni, kjer so prvenstveno izdelovali strešno opeko, vendar nikoli nisem šla pogledat kje je to. Rahlo me je presenetilo kako blizu je, ko mi je silno prijazen mladenič z ne-vem-koliko uhani in oblečen v nenavadno krojene hlače iz nedefiniranega, najbrž  indijskega materiala, razložil kako se do tja pride. Danes sva torej šla z M-jem pogledat kje te skulpture nastajajo. Do “Pogona II” IGM Toza Marković sva prišla mimo stadiona in pokopališča ter vzdolž ulice nanizanih nizkih hiš, hlevov, sadnega drevja in tu in tam kake stare mame, ki sede pred hišo opazuje dogajanje na cesti. V tem delu mesta še nikoli nisem bila. Skoraj bi zgrešila peti odcep na levo, kot naju je usmerila prijazna teta v trafiki, kjer sva kupila plastenko vode, vendar se s ceste lepo vidijo skulpture onkraj starih rešetkastih vrat, tako da vhoda skoraj ne moreš zgrešiti. 

V glavni stavbi, v ateljeju, sva pri delu opazovala udeležence letošnje kolonije. Počutila sem se kot otrok v tovarni čokolade, ki za vsako stvar opozarja: glej to, glej to ... Umetniki imajo na voljo ni da ni materiala in orodja. Edino, na kar moja pravljičarska domišljija ni bila pripravljena, so bile sodobne peči za glino. Ne vem zakaj, vendar sem napol pričakovala tiste, ki so jih uporabljali za peko strešnikov, ko je tovarna še delovala.